The desert was calm. The sun slowly raised over the distant butte, warming my face from the chilly morning. Indian Creek was waking up, and I was beyond excited to start climbing. Our start-of-the-day, unfortunately, began searching for the rest of our party we were to meet up with the night before. Without them, there was to be no climbing. We searched all morning, leaving traces on message boards strewn across the area, hoping to communicate our location. My excitement turned to frustration and back to excitement when miraculously our driver spotted our lost party's truck and sped after them. It was like a scene out of a James Bond movie. We passed several cars before we got close enough to nearly rear-ending our friends. After what seemed to be a minute of honking, flashing and hollering out the window, they finally realized it was us. A sigh of relief came over us all; we were finally gonna get to climb.
Once at the wall, we were able to forget all about the crazy morning. It was all about climbing now. Everyone focused their attention on the preparation of crack climbing: Sorting gear, taping hands, mentally psyching each other up. It was time to forget all our worries and just climb.
I quickly learned that crack climbing is a very different sport than face climbing. I had a friend describe it once like this: Insert hand, break wrist. Insert foot, break ankle. As I learned the technique, I couldn't help but laugh; that's pretty much exactly what it feels like. So why do people do it? I'm not sure I can explain it, but I know I kept wanting more. There's a feeling, much like the feeling I had when I started climbing a year ago, when you are hanging on a wall that you shouldn't be hanging from, and you realize you got there under your own strength and ability. That's an incredible feeling.
By the end of the weekend, with new stories to tell and battle wounds to show off, we reluctantly left The Creek. I now see why so many climbers flock to this area. It seems to beckon, as if to say, "Try me". It all depends on if you're up for the challenge.
Published: May 12, 2014